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A Fair Mystery

Charlotte Brame

Book Overview: 

Honest Mark Brace is about to lose his farm, land of his ancestors, home to his wife, Patty, and small daughter, Mattie, when out of a dark and stormy night comes the answer to his prayers. A tiny babe, tender and fair, left on their doorstep with a note asking Mark and Patty to bring the child up as their own, to raise it to be good, like themselves, and to accept for their troubles a hundred pounds a year.

The farm is saved, and all is peaceful for a while as the beautiful baby, Doris, grows into an even more beautiful child. But as she grows, so too grows her awareness of her own loveliness, of her difference from the humble farmers who raise her. Doris hungers for luxury, jewels and velvet, bright fetes and ardent admirers. Confident that her ethereal beauty and native wit will bring her everything she deserves, she focuses her energies on obtaining these things and sets in motion a chain of events that will break hearts, rip at the mystery surrounding her birth, and culminate in the greatest tragedy of them all.

A story of love in many forms, A Fair Mystery is part romance, part tragedy, and part social commentary, one which asks us to pause a moment and reflect on what it is that is truly worth having in this life.

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Book Excerpt: 

The Duke and Duchess of Downsbury had been so long absent from their home, that on their return they felt the greatest pleasure and keenest interest in every one whose name they remembered. Lady Estelle had outgrown her weakness of constitution. For many years it had been quite uncertain how her illness would terminate. It was not so much a malady as a wasting of strength, an utter absence of all hope or energy, a strange languor that attacked both body and mind.

Doctors recommended travel; travel fatigued her; they recommended change; change wearied her—nothing on earth seemed to have the least interest for her. Beautiful, high-born, blessed with every advantage that wealth and rank can give, she was afflicted with that most terrible of all diseases, hopeless ennui. Then, after a time, her physical health failed her, and it became a question as to whether she would recover or not. It was the one great trial that her devot. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This story revolves around Doris Brace and the havoc she wreaks in the lives of those around her. She is left on the doorstep of the Braces by an unkown wealthy lady. The Braces are good people but spoil Doris because of her beauty and the allowance sent to them anonymously. Doris grows up vain, sel

The story is one of those old-fashioned melodramas, the tale of a heartless flirt and the men she ensnares and the lessons she learns and the cruel fate awaiting those who choose vanity over virtue. It's hard to get into at first, but by the end you find yourself rather more invested in the outcome

Really interesting book! I listened to it on Libravox and found it to be sweet and simple.

Although I’m a fan of this author, I don’t rate this as one of her best novels. It’s a bit monotonous in its themes. For example, you rarely go beyond a paragraph without the narrator reminding the reader that Doris is beautiful.

Doris is an interesting character. She takes her beauty for granted, an